Thursday, December 19, 2013

11th Commandment- Keep thy mouth shut when you are a commodity

    This here is a prime example of why I need to fight the urge to walk into oncoming traffic almost everyday. It amplifies my personal feeling of incompetence about thriving, nay simply surviving, in this world. As most of those who want to make a greater impact in this world, actually acquire the ever elusive job where you get to make a difference proves harder than, well, becoming famous and having a 24 hour platform where legions of people applaud or boo your every move. Where substance and depth are absent, but the dollars continue to roll in and you get to say whatever you want. Furthermore, you can eschew any sort of personal responsibility for personal statements or views with one flick of the wrist claiming victim because people take everything you say at face value. Truly, being able to turn any sort of criticism into a personal attack story has got to be daunting. But there remains few out there, who are slick enough to turn whole entire causes into the next greatest of the "whoa as me" moment. The woman from the above article has been literally driving me nuts ever since she acquired her great American empire of people who just take it too personally when people disagree with them. This latest fray or fracas or whatever you want to call it, is absolutely prime example.
   Now listen, I watch Duck Dynasty a lot, well I used to. I will not anymore. I cannot get behind what Phil Robertson said, no matter how many rail on those who criticize him. I just do not agree, I never will agree, and it is my right to disagree. The fatal flaw in Her argument (I cannot write Her Name. I feel like it is Beetle Juice, if you say it one too many times she will just show up.) is that just like Mr. Robertson had the right to say what he said, his critics also have the right to publically disagree. That actually is the fundamental definition of the first amendment. It does not say that, one person has the right to say something, but everyone else has to shut-up about it, and just bend over and take it. Because, essentially that is where her argument goes.
     Furthermore, Mr. Roberson is a very public figure, who said something to a very public magazine. I mean, seriously, it was freaking GQ. Can we even be certain, oh I do not know, The National Review would take that answer and squirrel it away somewhere? Probably not, that is the juicy shit that gets attention in 'Merica. It generates media gold, which She has become so skilled at herself. So, while A+E has to scramble to keep advertisers on board, who essentially pay for the show to be on the air, they decided to do what they did as a business decision. Which last I hear, aren't we a free enterprise capitalist country, where our employers can let us go if we become a liability to a brand instead of the asset we were first hired on for. You see, us mortals, and it looks like the Robertson clan is amongst us surprisingly, have to ownership of what we say if it affects the bottom-line. For Her it is this total lack of ownership that puts her in the black. So I can understand her confusion as to what is really going on.
     What really gets me though, and always has, is that it seems wholly acceptable to spout snake oil salesman rhetoric, not done so thoroughly since Huey Long. There is nothing un-American about speaking against something or someone you do not agree with. That is the first the amendment. It is just as ironic as Mr. Robertson's statement, ya know, the one about how he does not judge, but really totally judged a bunch of people in his previous statement. Anyways, what do I know. I just sit in my office everyday, barely making ends meat and I guess I am the idiot here. But for the record, it is not in the spirit of "political correctness" that caused this mess, it is the simple spirit of humanity. I, along with many other Americans, refuse to believe that one, good people can be condemned to hell and secondly, that good people do not have the right to pursue a life of liberty and happiness because it makes some men with beards uncomfortable.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WWJD People

   There is no Santa, no Easter bunny, no tooth fairy, nor fairy godmother. All made up figures whose sole purpose is to give us hope, belief, or faith. But they do not exist, never have really. Not to mention, those who really need hope, faith, a miracle or just a little help are often those who know better than to rely on those figments of our first world imaginations. It is something I have been thinking much about this season for many reasons, one obviously being that I need to do more to help those who need it. Be there for a child that has no one, an elderly person struggling with loneliness, or help a family out in a time of need. I want to do this, and "this" being more than just the obligatory drop off of food at the shelter, or dollar into the salvation army pot, or toy drop off. I want to be present in person, provide for spontaneous needs, and most importantly offer the shoulder in the flesh. It is the least I could do to help make up for the opportunities I have been granted with, which they haven't or lost. To help atone for the shit life has thrown at them, because I have been lucky enough to have it yet thrown my way.
    The impetus for this, blog 'tis the season and as we all know from Love Actually, "at Christmas you tell the truth." Being Christmas and all, I really got to thinking about everything. The lives we lead, our "American" way, the things we do, etc...which in my messed up mind of course started to connect a lot of things for me. I should also mention, I was thinking, driving, and listening to NPR, the second impetus for this post. The subject happened to be Pope Francis and of course discussing the people that he scares the hell out off.
 Aside from making me angry, it really harkened my head back to when I was in high school. Remember those WWJD bracelets that everyone wore? I do, because they annoyed the hell out of me, so did praying by the flagpole. Seriously? I have never been one for "showy" displays of faith, it might by the Catholicism in me, but that never jibed with the whole WWJD stuff. I do not think He went around with flashy bracelets, bragging about what may or may not have happened, or made outright flashy displays of his belief, aside from that whole cross thing. No, he was more like.......well I do not know, I seem to keep going back to Pope Francis. Funny, huh? The big J seems to me like he would have administered his good deeds on those who have not. He would have ministered to the poor, been disgusted with income inequality of today, he would have demanded acceptance of anyone by everyone. He would have acted with compassion and empathy. Thoughtfulness and mindfulness. He would have known what to say and when to say it, also kind of like Pope Francis. I am really digging the man. So then, does that mean Jesus was also Marxist??
   And I ask that question obviously tongue in cheek (though sadly there are some who believe that he probably is) because it is a ridiculous assumption. So, why in all that is holy (pun intended) would people accuse the Pope of being a Marxist? When is that lame little insult going to go away. Man WWJD people come on! So he scared the hell out of the people that really have a lot, and no....if you know me YOU DO NOT HAVE A LOT LETS STOP PRETENDING THAT YOU EVER WILL. See the only reason why this insult even exists other than reason that the people throwing it around have about as much emotional intelligence as a parasite and cannot think of  better insult, especially because it is not freaking the 1950's anymore, is beacuse they also make us all believe that we could be them. It perpetuates their greatest defense, which is us, who aspire to be them. WE CAN'T. I am not talking about the cool millionaire. I am talking about the ones with the UNGODLY sums. What to do they do with their money, aside from build ridiculous fallout shelter/bunkers in the middle of Arkansas? Give it away to politicans and PAC with the explicit intent of favorable legislation that will allow them to collect more and more and more while giving less and less and less. Strategically placing money here and there with the intent of skating by paying the least amount that they can to everyone but themselves is a hell of a lot worse sin in my book than railing against unfettered capitalism that has created the largest income gap since the 1920s. But what do I know, you will just call me a Marxist for saying that.
    So lets try to be a little reasonable and rational in this debate. Get rich or die trying, no one cares, I seriously doubt, save a revolution or something, that someone will actually come and take it away. (Aside from politicians for the greedy little campaigns and promises) All the Pope is saying, all I am saying, is when is enough enough for some people. What level of destruction economically, environmentally, or spiritually is enough. How many more billions do the Koch brothers need, the Walton family, the Russian Oligarchs, the highly corrupt international businessmen and women who earn their millions off the backs of those working in the Bangladeshi factories, those living in the Indian slums. or those who die at the hands of violent men all in the name of power. And we DARE insult someone who is trying to change this? Who is tying to make a difference thousands of times more noble than any dollar will EVER be worth. We call him a name for caring about the people humanity lost interest in long ago.
    I do not want to spend the next year of my life just shaking my head. So, I am getting off my ass and getting there in the flesh. There are a lot of people out there who need help. It does not make them bad, or lazy, or undeserving of our society and all that it can offer. It is time that we start understand, really understanding, that everyone grows up under different circumstances, with different opportunities or lack thereof. It is not black and white, it never has been and it never will be. You want to know why I am going to do this, because it is what Jesus probably did and it is what Pope Francis is doing. It is what Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, Gandhi, and many more did. If Angelina Jolie can roll up her sleeves and realize it, I think we can too.